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ARAB-AFRICAN AFFAIRS - July 20 - Sudan Mobilizes Against Eritrea Threat.

'Al Anbaa' says authorities in Sudan's eastern Kassala state have ordered a general mobilization to confront an expected Eritrean offensive. Eritrea says the move was groundless and there was no change in military activity along the border. The Sudanese newspaper says: "There has been an increase in the level of Eritrean military build-up on the strip bordering Kassala state, stretching for 380 km". It accuses Eritrea of planning to attack because it believed Sudan helped Ethiopia in its war with Eritrea. (Tens of thousands of Eritreans fled to Sudan during the fighting.) 'Al Anbaa' quotes a source as saying: "This foreign international plot targets Kassala state from 3 axes, the middle, the east and the south". It says the offensive would probably take place at the same time in the areas of Gadamayet and Gergif. Eritrean presidential adviser Yemane Gebremeskel denies the accusations. He says: "There is no military build-up. Relations are normal between the Eritrean and Sudanese governments. We certainly don't have a border problem with Sudan". 'Al Anbaa' says there was evidence that the main Khartoum-Port Sudan highway would be targeted with the aim of reaching Sudan's only oil pipeline. It did not elaborate. (Hamashkoreib, a province in Kassala state, is under the control of the rebel Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army and its allies in the National Democratic Alliance. Sudan has accused Eritrea of supporting rebel groups in its 17-year civil war.) The newspaper says the Eritrean government had re-supplied its troops with equipment in northern Hamashkoreib where it says they were "extensively" deployed. It says some of the Eritrean forces were now stationed near the areas of Gadamayet and Gergif.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:6SUDA
Date:Jul 22, 2000
Words:273
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